Wednesday 16 July 2008

Deaf awareness…

It’s lovely when you come across a friend who is so deaf aware that they see problems coming before you do.

Housemate-From-Penthouse-Flat is like that –she’s bloody brilliant in fact!

I went to stay with her last weekend and we went to Party In The Park – a scaled-down West Country version of its Hyde Park namesake. There was mud, there were burgers and there was very, very loud music. So loud in fact that she kept checking that I was able to remain standing… I was and, at the time I was more concerned about my very wet foot.

It would seem that No More Nails is not quite what I needed to mend my boots with and in spite of my attempts they were rapidly falling apart. No More Nails also doesn’t stop leaks in bathroom ceilings – and I guess when you think about it, why would it – it’s not like nails stop leaks in ceilings either.

But enough about that…

Anyway, later that night we went back to her rents house where about half of her family were – there are lots of them – she’s one of six and they’ve all got children! While there, she constantly made sure it was light enough for me to hear and translated the babble of her over-excited nephew Alfie – who, in his hurry to get his sentences out, sometimes didn’t get the words in the right order.

The next day, due to exhaustion and in her husband’s case, a hangover, we were all chilling out in her living room. Husband was captivated by a political programme (he’s a politician, you see) and had his back to HFPF while she was talking to him.

Suddenly she said a little bit crossly, ‘Turn and look at me when I am talking so I know you can hear me!’ at which, both him and I looked at her rather oddly! Bless her, she’d been so conscious of the fact that I needed to see her face that she thought everyone did!


It got me thinking about deaf awareness and on Sunday, while round at Fab Friend’s house having tea, we looked up a cassette from the 70s that was called ‘Now Hear This’. In its time, it was the height of technology in explaining to hearing people what deaf people heard. I’d never come across it before but FF said they played it at her school once. And, would you believe it appears that this is still the only Deaf Awareness tape of its kind. So we ordered it – and had a good chuckle about the online order form asking us where we had heard about Forest Books, which is a deaf publisher. Wonder how many of their customers do ‘hear’ about them.

I am quite excited about this tape and am secretly hoping that it will provide me with a way of explaining how I can hear the sound of the TV in the flat downstairs but need subtitles to understand my own. Perhaps it will, perhaps it won’t… but it’s worth a try, surely!

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